Ya know, I’ve had this album on repeat so many times I think my ears are bleeding. I know what ya thinking, turn it off then Beastie ya daft chuffer, well I would, but I can’t…the problem is that I’ve become a bit addicted to it. Normally this would not be my kind of album at all but for some reason, this has ticked a lot of boxes, either that or it’s simply beaten me into submission.
Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t my album of the year and it’s definitely not a perfect album but it has a charm about it, a warmth, honesty and above all else, it screams ‘potential’!
Really I should have ignored it from the start simply because the band have committed a crime against one of my life rules, the one about changing letters in perfectly good words. Things like the sign outside the pub saying ‘9pm tonite, KWIK KWIZ’ make me shudder every time and Spyder Byte (shudder) have done that same thing. I don’t think it’s edgy or current to change what would still have been a cool band name had it been ‘Spider Bite’. In fact I could see an incredibly cool album cover by Psygnosis somewhere in the not too distant future, but I battled past that and reaped the rewards and to be fair to Spyder Byte (shudder), their album artwork is fabulous. It really is wonderful stuff and conjures memories of really old comics or 50s cinema posters, adding even more weight to my grievance about the name.
What about the actual music though?
Well it’s not too shabby, in fact it’s far better than that, it’s very good indeed.
Having checked out the Facebook page for Spyder Byte (shudder) and seen a list of bands that influence each and every member of the band, it comes as no surprise that you can hear pretty much all of those influences (and there are a lot) in this, their second album. Obviously there are one or two that stand out more than others, namely Iron Maiden and Guns N’ Roses, especially in the vocal and guitar area but if we cast them aside because of that then it wouldn’t be fair would it? After all, Airbourne have made a very good living being AC/DC clones and everyone knows who Greta van Fleet sound like so let’s cut Spyder Byte (shudder) some slack.
There ARE a couple of songs that are heavily in the Iron Maiden zone but I think there are also a few tracks that really show what this band is capable of and they should have enough faith and trust in their own ability to move away from those bands and show everyone who they really are.
Ironically the catchiest song IS a Maiden soundalike, and once ‘Spark’ is in ya noggin, it refuses to leave….it’s not alone by any means in being as catchy as chuff, there are others, ‘Boneshaker’ ‘Tonight (Get Wild)’ and ‘Reach Out’ also tick the earworm box but the band are so much better when they move away from the heavily influenced stuff and show us a glimpse of what they’re capable of.
To that end the standout track, for these cloth ears ‘Rockabilly Betty’ really does showcase this band at their best, the whole band is right on their game here and it is a proper rip-snorting, tight as ya like piece of good old fashioned rock and roll. ‘Vixen’, ‘Nocturnal Beauty’ and ‘Hopeless’ another 3 tracks that ping on this album and bring the band together to show them at their best, both in song creation and delivery with some lovely guitar in all of them, both lead and rhythm
‘New Blood’ is a cracking album opener and underlines how well laid out this album is, something I love about any album…great opener, superb closer and a good journey between, not too much to ask for and Spyder Byte (shudder) deliver on that front….the final track ‘Black Velvet Love’ must be a blast to perform live and gives them chance to get a bit theatrical and use their stagecraft a little.
Production overall is good too and the rhythm section at least sounds like they know each other which isn’t always true with young bands these days but both drums and bass shine at times….as do both guitars and vocals and that’s what gives me hope for Spyder Byte (shudder). They clearly know what they’re about. They have the talent and with this follow-up album are headed in the right direction.
If you think this isn’t your kinda rock then give it a chance, it may surprise you. Put the effort in and play it how we used to back in the day, until you know it intimately or to death, whichever comes first and you will reap the rewards from this band and this album, ‘When The Lights Go Out’.
As the song says ‘All we need is a spark to ignite our destiny’
They have the spark….destiny awaits…